ERIC Number: ED252911
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Nov
Reference Count: 0
Mediation: The Application of Interpersonal Skills in a Legal Setting.
MacPherson, Bernadette M.
Like other types of dispute resolution, mediation brings the parties in conflict together to solve their problems. It provides a fresh perspective by introducing a third party who is entirely neutral and is skilled in helping parties solve their problems. With the increasing dissatisfaction with the formal justice system, mediation has been established as another alternative to resolving disputes because of its unique features. Unlike the adjudication or arbitration process, the mediation conference is conducted informally: rather than by examination, the facts are gathered in a narrative fashion; contrary to formal legal procedure, the rules do not apply. Finally, except for the mediation contract, no record is kept of the mediation session. Each disputant is encouraged to participate fully in each step of the process and the sole responsibility of the mediator is to assist the parties in developing a mutually satisfying solution to the grievance. Skilled in communication strategies, the mediator must be able to help the disputants improve their own communication skills. This can be done in a variety of ways, all geared toward structuring the environment for successful problem solving strategies. Since the late 1960s, over 200 mediation programs have sprung up across the country. Because speech communication specialists--particularly in the field of interpersonal communication--are human relations specialists, they may find mediation a new avenue for exercising their talents. (HOD)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association (69th, Washington, DC, November 10-13, 1983).